Amanda Ferguson was phenomenal at Sisterhood today. She shared wisdom gleaned from 34 years of marriage.
“The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1
“I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget your word.” Psalm 119: 15-16
10 Keys to Having Wisdom in Your Marriage
- Take time to listen to God. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). Discuss with your husband about what God has said to you both individually.
- Watch your language. “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29). Don’t pull your husband down and make sure you’re not always turning the conversation back around to yourself and your needs. Think carefully about how you talk to each other. Ask yourself, is this how I’d like to be spoken to? Remember, he is the most important person in your life.
- Stay grateful. There are definite enemies of gratitude:
- Envy – stops us enjoying our blessings
- Sense of entitlement – prevents us from understanding grace and from being grateful. If he buys you flowers or does something romantic, be grateful and understand that you don’t really deserve it (in an ‘entitlement’ sense – none of us are perfect!)
- Self pity – count your blessings, past and future, every day
- Remember you have a choice. We may choose to get married; we may choose to stay home with the children (which means a lower income). Some things are our choice – others are not. It’s our choice to pray and have a good attitude towards the things we don’t have a choice about. Don’t have a victim mentality. We are the head, not the tail.
- Honour each other. “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love” (Romans 12:10). Value your husband. Consider his feelings. “…Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them…” (Matthew 7:12) Dishonour = threats (for example, no sex as punishment, silent treatment etc), manipulation, nagging, blame, violation of a person’s will (if someone asks you to stop eg. nagging, arguing etc., you need to stop), denial of responsibility (shifting blame). Don’t wait until you think your husband deserves your honour or becomes a Christian to honour him. Start today.
- Follow Jesus’ example and submit. 4 statements of submission:
- Jesus submitted to His Father. “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command…” (John 12:49). Jesus was equal with God – He wasn’t inferior in any way. When we submit we demonstrate a divine Godly character.
- We’re all called to submit (wife and husband). If you submit you have authority, if you don’t, you won’t.
- Submit to your husband in the way you submit to God; not passively and mindlessly. Give your husband the best of your opinions, thoughts and suggestions. In the end though, the buck has to stop with someone and biblically, it’s the husband (in 34 years of marriage, Amanda said it has only happened two or three times. She said they were usually able to come to a joint decision).
- There are limits to submission. Submission is not total obedience under all circumstances. Don’t violate your conscience and moral convictions. Ask yourself, “How can I best imitate Jesus in this situation?”
- Pick your battles. “Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife” (Proverbs 17:1). Continual conflict is very destructive and wearing. Not every problem needs to lead to conflict or you’ll be in a constant battle zone. What is threatening your marriage? Fight those battles. Nagging doesn’t work; cut him some slack. Try to look through his eyes; sometimes love needs to cover over an issue that just isn’t worth fighting about. Recognise that during different seasons of life people are sometimes more succeptible to irritation than at others, so just maybe back off. Make it your goal to have a home that’s a haven of peace, not a battle field.
- Forgive, forgive, forgive. It’s hard but it’s not optional. No marriage will survive a build up of unforgiveness. No marriage cannot survive when two truly repentant people come together to work things out. If you feel like you can’t forgive your husband, ask God to help you, or ask Him to help you want to forgive! ” Also, keep a short account. This doesn’t mean the memories will disappear but it means you choose not to deliberately remember or bring them up in conversation. Remember what you’ve been forgiven for – it will put everything in perspective.
- Enjoy daily life together. Most of the time we live ordinary days. We need to enjoy them or we’ll miss out. Sex needs to be part of the everyday, not just at romantic intervals. Live life to the full together, even on the ordinary days.
- Make Sure that God is in the centre of the marriage. This means:
- Your are able to see the bigger picture. You realise your marriage is about more than just the two of you; your marriage is a reflection of God.
- You’re not going to make your husband into an idol. He doesn’t need to meet all your needs because God is meeting them. It also makes it easier not to compromise on your morals because you’re not afraid of losing your husband – your confidence and security is in God.
- Hope. God, the One who blesses marriage is fighting for and alongside your marriage. Excellent!
Amanda’s wrap-up tip: Decide to involve God in every area of your marriage. Let this be your prayer;
“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruuit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.” Proverbs 31:28-31
I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!